Interview Questions You Need To Prepare For When Applying In A Call Center In The
The Philippines has over a million call center agents. Sure enough, each one experienced tough interview questions when applying for the job.
According to IT Starts Here, over 1.3 million Filipinos work in the industry. Meanwhile, thousands more apply as call center agents every day. That’s why becoming a call center agent is still one of the most in-demand jobs in the Philippines this 2022.
So, do you want to join this thriving industry? Stick around and we’ll show you how to easily pass your next interview.
In this article, we’re going to go in-depth on how to get hired as a call center agent. Furthermore, we’ll discuss why a lot struggle with interviews. Additionally, we’ll add a structured way of answering tough interview questions so you won’t sound like you’re reading off a script.
For example, most recruiters are going to ask you the most basic of all questions “Tell me about yourself“. The question is simple. But, for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, how you answer this could make or break your interview.
The way you answer “Tell me about yourself” gauges your communication skills and tells interviewers if you’re a fit for the company’s environment. Keep in mind – having the right skills can get you in the industry, but having a pleasing personality can get you even further.
Thus, if you answer this question with a rehearsed script, you would sound robotic. Also, recruiters can ask questions in between your answer which can easily throw people off.
With that said, here are the best answers to common call center interview questions in the Philippines.
Quick Tips For Preparing For A Call Center Interview
Reviewing call center interview answers is an excellent way to prepare. However, is there anything else that we can do aside from reading through sample interview answers?
Applicants can get nervous when it’s minutes away from their interview. Thankfully, there are always things we can do prior to the interview to help us prepare further such as the following:
It’s Better To Overdress than to Underdress
How applicants wear clothes can be seen as an extension of themselves. In fact, according to Chron, appearances contribute greatly to the first impressions you make to potential employers.
Naturally, you want to dress professionally to show interviewers that you’re already professional and a perfect fit for the BPO industry.
You don’t always have to overdress. But at the same time, it’s much better to overdress for an interview rather than to underdress for several reasons.
Firstly, underdressing shows insincerity about the interview opportunity. Additionally, it shows that you might not be considerate of the company’s dress code.
Generally, it’s safer to dress formally rather than make a bad first impression by dressing casually.
Watch Your Body Language
Learning about body language is underrated. Although mostly subconscious, our brains relate body language to confidence. In face-to-face interviews, or even in virtual interviews, watching out for your body language is important for these reasons:
- It assists the interviewer in understanding what the person is saying
- It shows that you are confident
- Body Language makes you appear genuine
- It helps avoid looking unprofessional
For example, hand gestures help emphasize your points during the interview. But too many hand gestures could make you look like you overcompensating.
Also, playing with your hair or touching your face is something to look out for.
Generally speaking, these little movements can make you look fidgety. As a result, this visibly shows how nervous you are.
So, if you’re not quite sure what to do with your hands during an interview, you can try folding them in your lap. This represents a neutral gesture that you could easily hold until the nervousness dies down.
Practice Your Grammar
In today’s modern age, anybody can get information from the internet. So, why not use that to your advantage and brush up on your grammar?
There could be a possibility that you’ve been saying something wrong for so long but nobody corrected you.
Moreover, learning more words and polishing your communication skills is a great addition to a call center applicant’s arsenal. Remember, the best outbound and inbound call centers in the Philippines are looking for effective communicators.
And, learning proper grammar sets us apart from the rest. For example, solving problems for a client might be confusing if you don’t know the correct usage of verbs, tenses, and more.
For example, you’re trying to fix a client’s television remotely. A bad way of relaying instructions to a client would be saying: “Get the remote and press buttons to look for settings and restarted the TV”. Now, that doesn’t sound right at all.
It would be better to say: “Grab the remote and click on the Settings button, go through the menu using the arrow keys and restart the tv”.
Meanwhile, having proper grammar is even more important during your interview as it shows you have the communications skills needed to thrive in the call center industry.
Now that’s out of the way, here are some example answers to the most important interview questions asked in the BPO industry:
Best answers to common call center interview questions in the Philippines
Tell Me About Yourself – Best Answer
Mostly every call center in the Philippines you apply to will ask you this question. In fact, an article from Indeed says almost every company asks their applicant: “Tell me About Yourself”. Alternatively, a recruiter may ask you “tell me something about yourself that’s not on your resume”.
Open-ended questions like this are great ways for interviewers to know a little bit about themselves. Furthermore, even though this is commonly asked, a lot of people still don’t know how to answer. Therefore, if you want to get a chance to work in a call center, you’d better prepare.
But how exactly do we prepare our answer?
First of all, we don’t want to sound scripted. As such, it’s better if we formulate a structure that helps us outline our thoughts. Let’s use this scenario as an example.
An applicant named Juan Cruz is applying for a call center agent role. After graduating, he worked for his uncle’s appliance repair shop.
So, how do we structure our answer using this example? It’s simple! We use a simple three-step method.
Monina Furigay, a talent acquisition specialist who’s currently securing her Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations says you can structure your answer by:
- Stating a fact – I’m Juan Cruz, I worked at my uncle’s repair shop.
- Showing Evidence of that fact – I worked there after graduating college to help my uncle over the summer and it became a full-time job afterward.
- Relating it to a job description – I got a chance to learn how to effectively communicate with clients.
Using the information given above, here is an example answer to “tell me about yourself” using our structure:
“My name is Juan Cruz, but my friends call me JC. After college, I worked at my Uncle’s appliance repair shop. Initially, it was supposed to be a quick summer job while I look for jobs.
But, it ended up with me doing it full time. My duties there included talking to clients, giving them updates about repairs, and troubleshooting.
As I continued to work, I learned how to deal with extremely upset clients whose appliances couldn’t be fixed. More importantly, I learned how to quickly identify issues at a glance and offer suggestions to clients.
That’s why I wanted to work in the call center industry because I believe that my talents for troubleshooting and customer service could be of great use”.
Why Did You Want To Work As A Call Center Agent In the Philippines?
As you can see, we already answered this question in our example above. However, we need to expand further on this. Obviously, if you’ve asked this question, the biggest NO-NO is answering with “I want to improve my English skills”.
Take note that having a call center job means that you should already be proficient when it comes to communicating in English. Instead, you should use our three-step method again to structure your thoughts.
State a fact, provide evidence or expound on that fact, and relate it to a job description or the question. In this case, it’s better to relate our answer to the question.
With that, our example answer for “Why do you want to work as a call center agent?” could be:
“I want to work as a call center agent because I want to pursue a career where my skills in communication and problem-solving can shine. Back in high school and college, I used to freelance as a computer technician.
Most of my work involved seeking out clients, knowing their issues, and finding quick resolutions to their problems. Also, I learned ways to appease customers when their computers couldn’t be fixed and offered alternatives, and other ways to help.
Right now, I’m fairly confident with my abilities but I know that with the help of industry professionals from “x company”, I could elevate it even higher, especially when thinking about the long term”.
So, how did we use our three-step method in the example above?
- Give Facts – the applicant wants to work in a call center because he has skills in communicating and troubleshooting
- Provide Evidence – Working freelance as a computer technician.
- Relate – Wanting to elevate communication skills to a higher degree
What are your Strengths And Weaknesses?
There is no doubt that the BPO industry is highly competitive. As such, companies aren’t just looking for agents that could answer phone calls. Instead, they’re looking for people who can give clients value.
With this, the first thing that you need to do is highlight your strengths that could provide value to the company. However, if that were the case, what can we do when talking about our weaknesses?
The wrong answer to this question is simply talking about your weaknesses without expounding and providing details as to how you are overcoming them. Simply saying that “I’m shy or I’m easily frustrated” won’t get you anywhere.
Instead, find a way to express your weakness as something you’re working to improve – therefore, also emphasizing another one of your strengths.
As a call center agent, your company expects you to provide quality customer service to clients. As such, your strengths should supplement some of the following characteristics:
- Good Communication Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Calm Under Pressure
With this, here is an example answer to “What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?“
“I’m a fast learner and could easily get along with the people around me. I’m also quite good at conversational English.
However, I get shy around new people. But, because of being online so much, I’m getting used to conversing with new people and I’ve gotten more expressive. I’m still a bit shy, but I can easily start up conversations even with people I’ve never met before”
In the example above, we can see how we emphasized the strengths. Meanwhile, we showed our weakness as something that we’ve been constantly working on and could even become a strength when it comes to communication.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
An effective way to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is to show enthusiasm for the job you’re applying for. So, instead of saying you want to have a higher position, emphasize that you want to learn new skills and experiences.
Here’s an example answer:
“I plan on expanding my knowledge about the different ways I can effectively communicate with clients. More importantly, I see myself in a leadership position thanks to all to everything I’ve learned in the company throughout the years. Moreover, I can see myself in a position that could help others push forward with their career”.
Recruiters ask this question because within the BPO world, there are so many “job-hoppers” out there. Thus, they want to ensure that the applicants won’t just apply for the company for the short term.
On the contrary, they’re looking for applicants that they could help grow and train. So, try on expounding on that idea as well. Talk about growth, career advancement opportunities, or getting managerial positions.
How/Where Did You Learn About Our Company?
The biggest mistake you can do when answering this question is taking it at face value. This means that you can’t just stop at “I found your company through Facebook” and move on.
Recruiters want to hear that you’ve done research on the company. Not only that, you could also emphasize how your research on the company became the deciding factor for you to apply in the first place.
That way, you could hit two birds with one stone and also answer “Why did you want to join the company“.
Here is an example of how to answer this:
“I learned about your company through a Facebook ad. Luckily, I was also looking to apply for the position you posted. But, I also did my own research and found out that the company also advocates for the environment like I do.
On your website, I saw how the company gives priority to environmental advocacies and thought that I’d be a perfect fit being an advocate myself.”
So, now that you’re ready to take on your next CSR Interview and want to take the next step in your career journey, Global Strategic wants to hear from you. Apply today and become our newest Back Office Associate or Call Center Representative or talk to our Recruiters about our other roles and whether or not you would be a fit.